I have recently been reading all about the Duggar family in their two books:
I can't say that I agree with all of their practices (I really hate skirts and would pretty much die if I had to wear one every single day!), but I do feel like I can connect with them on some level about their reasons for going public with their family. We're certainly not on a TV show or anything crazy like that, but making yourself vulnerable to others can be nervewracking. They don't water down their faith on the show or in their books, and I like that. I also like some of the family structure they have and the responsibilities they give their children.
Enter: Chore Packs!
The Duggars give each child a Chore Pack, which are cards with one chore on each one. (There are pictures for the younger ones). They are held together by a ring and the kids flip through each one to make sure they get their chores done.
Well, we're feeling like Caleb is ready for some daily chores. Until now, it's been more of a help-as-you're-needed kind of atmosphere, and it obviously still will be! But I want to give him some daily responsibilities. We all sat down together and talked about what we thought Caleb could handle. We decided that he would be responsible for picking up his room, picking up toys in the playroom, vacuuming the kitchen (we have a little cordless sweeper), and wiping down the 1/2 bathroom with a vinegar/water solution. I wrote each chore on an index card with a picture clue for each one.
This may seem like a lot of chores, and we're still working out some kinks, but the picking up of the toys has already been an expectation. He often vacuums the kitchen anyway, just because he likes the sweeper! He has also cleaned the 1/2 bath quite a few times to earn an extra dime for his snack shop. So none of these chores are new, and we aren't expecting perfection.
His chore pack hangs in the kitchen in a visible spot. When he is done with each chore, he is supposed to bring the pack to one of us so that we can go inspect it and check it off. There is a check-off on the back so that we can see if he did his chore for that day.
In exchange for his doing his chores with a good attitude and (eventually) without reminders, Caleb will earn a dime for each chore to spend in his snack shop. This could potentially be a lot of dimes (which translates to a lot of snacks!), so we're ready to amend that as necessary! On the flip side, he will lose a dime for each chore not done or done with a negative attitude. OF COURSE, there have been many, many reminders in the beginning and we're not expecting this to all tranform overnight. But, the goal is cheerful obedience!! (I want to be a fly on Michelle Duggar's wall. I don't know how she got those kids to be so obedient!)
We're not quite ready to jump into a full-fledged allowance and aren't sure if we ever will be, but dimes for the snack shop seem to be plenty of motivation for Caleb right now, so we'll go with it!
The first few days have gone pretty well, but I'm anxious to see how things go once the novelty has worn off. We stress often that we all have jobs to do around the house and that since he's a member of this family, he does too!
It's a work in progress. I would love to hear how you handle chores at your house with the little ones! What works, what doesn't? Oh, and when should I expect Abby to start earning her keep?!? :)